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Medina committee identifies 18 projects to better utilize waterfront

Photos by Tom Rivers: Samantha Herberger, a planner with Bergmann Associates in Rochester, goes over projects identified by the Medina Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, including more docks for motor boats and launches for kayaks. She is speaking at a meeting Wednesday evening at the Medina United Methodist Church.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 August 2019 at 5:37 pm

The committee would like to see a pedestrian bridge across Glenwood Lake, from Boxwood Cemetery to near Gulf Street Park.

MEDINA – A committee working on a plan to better utilize Medina’s waterfront has identified 18 projects that would better capitalize land near the canal, Oak Orchard Creek and Glenwood Lake for economic development, tourism, recreational and residential development.

The Medina Local Waterfront Revitalization Program has been meeting for the past year to discuss ways to bolster the waterfront areas in the village. The group has worked with consultant Bergmann Associates in Rochester for a community survey and other public outreach.

The group has identified 18 projects in three categories – trail networks, community use of public land, and private investment:

• Streetscape improvements – Adding more crosswalks, benches and ways to make the downtown area more walkable.

• Wayfinding signs would direct people to sites and services in the community. The signs should be cohesive in their design and should note public parking.

• Gateway signage at the four main entrances leading into Medina.

• Façade improvements on the back sides of the buildings facing the Erie Canal. That could include awnings, benches, tables and chairs, which would make the sites more appealing.

• Trail enhancements – improve the surfaces that are in disrepair and fill other gaps so trails are continuous. Add signs to point people to services and tourism sites. Add benches and seating opportunities.

• Trailhead improvements especially at Bates Road trail which is on state-owned land.

The back side of buildings facing the canal in the Canal Basin could be more appealing with awnings, façade improvements, more landscaping and benches, as shown in this rendering by Bergmann.

• Gulf Street Park is currently underutilized. The site could use parking, sidewalks and a clear entrance. The park needs recreational opportunities, which could include a pickle ball court and soccer field.

• Pedestrian bridge over Glenwood Lake that would connect Boxwood Cemetery trail to Gulf Street Park. The bridge could also have a kayak launch nearby.

• Canal Basin Park – remove current retaining wall to create slope to water which would then have natural amphitheater seating, add more greenspace, improve parking, create an alleyway at back of buildings that connects to trailways.

Putting lights on the Glenwood Avenue canal bridge would draw more attention to these structures that are more than a century old.

• Butts Park is highly visible and accessible on Route 31. The committee recommends a new skate park, improved ball fields, a concession stand, better parking areas, and a trail and pedestrian bridge over Oak Orchard Creek from the park to the neighborhood on other side of creek.

• State Street Park has the benefit of being close to the downtown and is next to the canal. A new bandstand recently was completed at the park. The committee would like to see State Street Park become a year-round destination with an ice skating rink and a cohesive trail that connects to Laurel Street on the other side of the canal.

• Medina Falls Access Improvements – currently there is limited access and many people take a chance using an unsafe ladder to get near the falls. The committee would like to see an overlook that extends from the towpath to the falls. The project would need Canal Corp. approval and more analysis.

• Lions Park enhancements – This park on the northern side of the canal would benefit from trail enhancements, an improved towpath with lighting and benches. The committee also suggests a fitness trail at the park. The committee also would like to see lighting on the canal bridges at night.

A large municipal lot off East Center Street should be redone with more trees and an improved layout.

• Downtown public parking with more planters and greenspace to make the area more inviting.

• Pedestrian connections on Orient Street, East Center Street and from Medina Railroad Museum to downtown. That could include better sidewalks and patio seating in some locations.

• Boater amenities at State Street Park and Lions Park including tie-ups for motor boats and kayak launches.

• Private investments with tourism and hospitality development, including glamping (glamorous camping) and more camp sites so visitors would stay longer in the community.

• Mixed use development along canal with the current building used by Snappy Co. on Commercial Street. Snappy is looking to relocate. Its building could be converted into a site with retail shopping and residential apartments upstairs, with a boat launch on the canal.

• Residential development with the vacant space north of the canal along Ryan Street. This site is the area of the first Medina Sandstone quarry and also the former Sweet Ironworks. One of the Sweet buildings remains on site and could be used for a farmers’ market or gathering space. There is lots of room of site for new housing opportunities.

The committee picked projects to capitalize on Glenwood Lake.

The committee for the Medina Local Waterfront Revitalization Program will be submitting a draft of the plan for the state to review. It also needs a final local approval.

The document can be used to help Medina secure grant funding from the state for some of the projects.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari thanked the committee members, Bergmann and residents who participated in the project. He said it gives Medina a good blueprint for the future.

“Just remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint,” he said.

Kathy Blackburn served as the committee chairwoman.

“We’re very excited about all of the projects,” she said.

Many of the projects are in the downtown area, Canal Basin, State Street Park and near the waterfalls.

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